Since early January, King Cakes have been flooding the office break room, daring you to take the chance and try another piece from yet another local bakery that has mastered the brightly frosted, cinnamon brioche we all know and love. I’m even willing to bet that you have already found the baby in your slice at least once and have had to purchase a King Cake yourself, even though you probably won’t eat a single slice. Can it be possible that you are actually getting burnt out on King Cake? Maybe it’s time to try something a little different.
Right on the old route, near the corner of Polymnia Street and St. Charles Avenue, you can get your chompers around a taste of king cake, without being forced to buy the whole kit & caboodle. Adorned with sprinkles in purple, green and gold, you can get yourself a King Cupcake from Pralines by Jean. Moist cinnamon cake slathered with royal icing can bring you a taste of the carnival in only a few bites.
Though you think the whole Mardi Gras experience couldn’t possibly reach any higher levels of decadence than it already has, think again. Over at Bittersweet Confections in the CBD, the recently-opened chocolatier present us with King Cake Truffles. Using a 74% dark chocolate mixed with a good bit of cinnamon and other magic spices, owner Cheryl Scripter makes a luscious, rich ganache that is then rolled into purple, green and gold nonpareils to create delicate little mouthfuls of festive, chocolaty bliss.
Further Uptown on Prytania Street, Chef Bryan Gilmore of Creole Creamery specializes in whipping up amazing, creative flavors during every season and there is no reason for Carnival to be any different. Not only does he offer creamy scoops of King Cake ice cream made from a swirl of sweet cream cheese and cinnamon ice creams, these very flavors are what he uses to fill his extremely popular Ice Cream King Cakes…you’d be the hero of the office showing up with one of those ice cream filled beauties.
Finally, if you’re not in the mood to eat anymore King Cake, perhaps you’ll be interested in drinking it. Over at Ralph’s on the Park on the corner City Park Avenue and Dumaine Street in Mid City, you can score yourself a delicious little cocktail called the King Cake Martini. Made from New Orleans Spiced Rum, butterscotch schnapps, vanilla schnapps and rich cream, they even put green and gold colored sugar around the rim just in case you forget what you’ve been drinking after the 3rd or 4th round.
By the way, just in case you haven’t already heard about it, Florida-based company Lucky Brands introduced King Cake Vodka to the New Orleans market this carnival season. Decked out in brightly colored bottles depicting Mardi Gras masks, beads and doubloons, this liquid pastry is said to be quite delicious, tasting exactly like King Cake. It seems perfectly appropriate to me and I am actually surprised something like this has not come out before, after all, we New Orleanians want to have our King Cake and drink it, too!
*Article originally published in the January 2012 issue of Where Y’at Magazine
**Pralines by Jean closed